TuneIn, the popular online radio service, just announced that it has raised a $16 million funding round led by General Catalyst Partners. Other participants in this round include Jafco Ventures, Google Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Sequoia also participated in TuneIn’s $6 million funding round in 2010. TuneIn tells us that it plans to use this new funding “to scale the company’s technical and business operations worldwide.”
The company also today announced that it is growing rapidly and now has 40 million monthly active listeners. Just last month, TuneIn announced that it had grown 267% year-over-year, but at that time, it didn’t release exact listener numbers.
TuneIn currently offers its users free access to 70,000 stations and 2 million on-demand programs.
Earlier this year, our own Alexia Tsotsis reported that TuneIn was close to raising a new funding round led by General Catalyst Partners with participation from Sequoia. At that time, though, the expectation was that TuneIn would raise at least $20 million. The round the company announced today is a bit smaller, but $16 million should still give the company a long runway for its expansion plans.
“Our mission is to deliver the best listening experience possible, and it is so meaningful to us that 40 million people have chosen to listen to the world – every month – through TuneIn,” says TuneIn’s CEO John Donham in a canned statement today. “This investment will help us fulfill our mission while increasing our headcount and growing our product development and marketing initiatives.”
As Donham also told me last week, the company believes that there is still a tremendous amount of audio that currently doesn’t get carried on terrestrial radio because the individual local markets are too small (think tennis play-by-play coverage) but that could attract a large audience online.
In his view, we’re still in the middle of the first transition of radio moving online. Donham also believes that TuneIn’s open platform, which provides radio stations with better analytics and revenue share opportunities, is what will attract even more stations to its platform in the future. In our interview, he also stressed the large number of platforms the service is available on, including a number of in-car entertainment systems.